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Democratic Unionists threaten to torpedo Boris Johnson’s make or break 11th-hour Brexit deal

Democratic Unionists threaten to torpedo Boris Johnson’s make or break 11th-hour Brexit deal if Northern Ireland is not part of UK customs union, warns DUP’s Nigel Dodds

  • DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds warned that Johnson’s solution ‘cannot work’  
  • Johnson ‘has proposed keeping Northern Ireland in EU customs partnership’ 
  • DUP opposition led to parliament rejecting a previous Brexit deal three times 

The Democratic Unionist Party has threatened to torpedo Boris Johnson’s make or break Brexit deal if Northern Ireland does not remain part of the UK customs union. 

Nigel Dodds, the party’s deputy leader, today warned that Johnson’s eleventh-hour solution ‘cannot work’. 

The DUP, which supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in Westminster, will play a key role in deciding whether Britain can agree a new withdrawal agreement with the European Union before the departure deadline of October 31.

According to EU diplomats, Johnson has proposed keeping Northern Ireland in a UK customs union and some form of EU customs partnership. 

This means the province would face customs and regulatory checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain.

Nigel Dodds, the DUP's deputy leader, today warned that Johnson's eleventh-hour Brexit solution 'cannot work'

Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s deputy leader, today warned that Johnson’s eleventh-hour Brexit solution ‘cannot work’

That is designed to prevent the return of customs checks on the island of Ireland, at the border between the British province and EU-member Ireland.

Negotiators for Britain and the EU have embarked on intense talks to see if they can make the proposal work, and while DUP leader Arlene Foster gave a guarded welcome to the plan on Friday, deputy leader Nigel Dodds sounded more downbeat.

Italian newspaper Repubblica quoted him as saying that Johnson knew their position. 

According to EU diplomats, Johnson has proposed keeping Northern Ireland in a UK customs union and some form of EU customs partnership

According to EU diplomats, Johnson has proposed keeping Northern Ireland in a UK customs union and some form of EU customs partnership

‘No, it cannot work,’ Dodds said, ‘because Northern Ireland has to remain fully part of the UK customs union’.

Dodds is the DUP’s leader in the Westminster parliament and his views have proved influential with some members of Johnson’s own party who want a cleaner break with Brussels. 

Opposition from the DUP led to parliament rejecting three times a previous Brexit deal agreed by Johnson predecessor Theresa May.

‘We’ll wait and see,’ Dodds said. 

‘There is a lot of stuff coming from Brussels, pushed by the Europeans in the last hours, but one thing is sure: Northern Ireland must remain fully part of the UK customs union. And Boris Johnson knows it very well.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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